The United States Constitution offers protection to its citizens from unnecessary searches by the law enforcement officers. When law enforcement officers search without a valid search warrant, and the reasons are not among the exceptions to a warrant requirement, it is viewed as unreasonable. The Fourth Amendment of the United States Constitution offers protection to citizens so that police officers can get a search warrant from a judge after displaying probable cause that a crime was committed and that commodities associated with the crime are likely to be found at the specific place indicated in the warrant (Brennan, 2007). Law enforcement officers are only allowed to search the particular products stated in the warrant and others if they are protecting their safety and the safety of other citizens.
In this case, if the detectives had a search warrant, they would freely enter the residence of the suspect and do their investigations until they gather enough evidence. Without the search warrant, they were forced to access the home by climbing a fence. They also destroyed the DVD that contained the evidence of the detectives doing investigations without a search warrant. The narcotics investigators even pretended to be employees so that they get official records. Their primary target was to know if there was the smell of marijuana in the nearby place of the suspected residence. The detectives also used the cameras they had installed in the shops to check the number plates of the vehicles that stopped there.
According to Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution, citizens are protected from this kind of search whereby the law enforcement officers do investigations without a search warrant. The outcome of this case will be affected because, although the detectives gathered a lot of information about the suspect, they were not allowed by the law to conduct those investigations. The constitution states that, if evidence is collected without a valid search warrant, the evidence may be termed as an exclusionary rule (Walker & Hemmens, 2015). Exclusionary rule hinders the illegally obtained evidence from being used in the court of law. In the court, the suspects may argue that evidence was gathered by detectives in their residence, offices and using cameras, yet they did not have a search warrant.
On the other hand, the Fourth Amendment of the constitution also states that a law enforcement officer can gather information without a search warrant in some circumstances. In this case, the detectives received information about the hydroponic supply chain growing and selling of marijuana, from a criminal informant. The detectives conducted the investigations without a search warrant because they had obtained consent from the criminal informant. The law allows such a situation if only the consent is offered by somebody who has a logical assumption of the privacy in the area or the property. The criminal informant is allowed by the law to give consent and once it was offered the narcotic detectives started the investigations immediately without obtaining a search warrant.
The detectives were also armed with firearms when they climbed and jumped over the fence to gather information and even when they conducted a knock and talked search. According to the fourth amendment to the United States Constitution, detectives are not supposed to perform investigations without a search warrant while they are armed. The hydroponic supply shop is private property, and the sergeant, corporal and the two detectives later resigned because the investigations were conducted illegally. Property that is considered to be in someones residence is deemed to be private, and if police need to do any investigations about the property, they require a search warrant from the judges (Waksman & Goodman, 2010). The officers were carrying arms in private property whereby the knocked homes eighty-four times without a search warrant, which is an illegal act.
In gathering more information about the shop, the police went ahead and dressed like employees. It is an illegal act because they did not possess a search warrant. A search warrant would be very important to the investigators because it would address the owner of the premise to be searched elaborating that the judge who gave out the order has found out that the evidence may be found there. In this case, the information gathered from official records in the shop may be concluded to be unreasonable and most likely the judges will rule it to be an illegal search and seizure. The narcotics detectives will have to give a clear explanation as to why they searched, justify their basis for searching as they clarify the reasons why the warrant was not obtained. If they got the warranty, the investigators would have permission to check the official records of the business without the consent of the owner. Throughout this investigations it clear that the detectives illegally conducted their search and that is why they climbed and jumped over the fence, dressed like employees to get official records, placed a camera in the shop and also used knock and talk tactic.
Brennan Jr, W. J. (2007). State Constitutions and the Protection of Individual Rights. Harvard
Law Review, New York: Pantheon Books
Walker, J. T., & Hemmens, C. (2015). Legal guide for police: Constitutional issues. New York,
NY: Routledge, 2015
Waksman, D. M., & Goodman, D. J. (2010). The search and seizure handbook. Upper Saddle
River, N.J: Prentice Hall.
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